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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

6                                              I'LORA   IND1CA.
however, the labour of a lifetime, and although we have un-
dertaken its commencement, we cannot hopexto bring it to a
conclusion; our progress in it must depend entirely upon cir-
cumstances at present beyond our control; but we have no
doubt that when we are compelled to abandon the undertak-
ing, the necessity for the completion of such a work will in-
duce some one to follow in our stens, and to lend a helping
hand to the compilation of a furtltf ' portion of so indispen-
sable an aid to botanical research.
We should however be wrong, were we to convey the im-
pression that this arduous undertaking has wholly originated
with ourselves: on the contrary, the conviction lias for Nome
years been general among botanists, that the collections accu-
mulated in this country were so ample, that the time had
fully come for the preparation and publication of a Flora 1 n-
dica; and when it was known that wo had returned from
India with large and important materials, we were invited
by all the most illustrious names in the science to combine a
revision of the labours of our predecessors with the publica-
tion of our own discoveries. Many of our friends considered
that for such an undertaking we possessed greater advantages
and facilities than had ever before been available to any bo-
tanist. Our collections were most e&tensrve, having been
formed over a very wide extent of country, witK a knowledge
of the great variability of species, of the chief forms of which
we were desirous of making our specimens illustrative; they
were moreover accompanied by an extensive scries of draw-
ings and dissections from the life, and by voluminous notes, in-
dicative of distribution, habit, structure, etc. It wa# known
that we intended to distribute our plants, which ought not to
be done without a careful examination, for the purpose of de-
termining their names. During this examination much of the
most laborious part of the preparation of a flora must neces-
sarily be imdergone; and we were urged to put our results
on record for the benefit of science. Nor must we omit, in
the enumeration of the advantages we enjoyed, a free acces*